Redefining the Season

Redfining the season

September, October and November. Ah…  I love the Fall season.  The weather changes from the thick warm air to the now wrap yourself in your favorite quilt.  With the changing of the season comes the changing of routine.  Vacations have taken their place in fond memories, the kids again are finding the big yellow bus, and coffee seems to again take on a priority of the cool mornings.  Season and change have somewhat of a synonymous meaning.

Certain seasons bring with them familiarity, habits and patterns.  For years my summer months consisted of preparing, studying and researching for the upcoming launch of the Fall Womens Bible Study. As the Leader, I gathered and met with my team of women, sent out the postcard invitations to the women of the church, then on that September fall morning with Bible and notebook in hand, and a message on my heart, I stood welcoming some 40 gals as they bustled in all cheery eyed, hugging amongst all as if the reunion could not be soon enough. For the next few months, we studied, prayed, laughed, cried and grew in our love for God together.  Seasons.

Often with the change of season comes an entangled set of habits or life patterns.  Some of course are a necessity, running out the door as we drop off the kids to practice, battle traffic to get to work.  However, (let us take pause) there may be life patterns (not so good and no so healthy) that have the OPTION of change.  “Hm… we have an ‘option?’  But I’ve always done it this way, this is all I know. This is WHO I am. This is familiar.”  We self define and define the season. May I boldly say, “We are too COMFORTABLE here.”  If you would allow me, (whilst the kids are now safely on the bus, morning duties completed, and it’s just you and I.) Let’s invite the Holy Spirit to open our hearts and minds to His gentle whisper.  Are there thought patterns or a heart condition that need to be addressed? Is THIS the season to address them?

Recently looking at Paul’s words to the folks in Philippi (chapter 4) he speaks to anxiety and prayer, God’s peace, having a gentle spirit and joy.  He then pens those words… you know the ones where he commissions us Keep your mindto basically get our mental act together:  “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell (think) on these things.” – verse 8 (emphasis mine)  The last couple of days I have looked at what it is to ‘think’ about stuff.  Stuff.. all stuff. I came across a very interesting word in the Greek, ‘eunoia’ (yoo-noy-ah) meaning, ‘wholeheartedness, enthusiasm, eagerness’.  But it is much more, in short, (trust me, I’m being SHORT) eunoia is well minded or beautiful thinking. It can also mean ‘to agree’. How/what are we ‘thinking?’  Are they beautiful thoughts?   Are they true, right and pure? Are they God thoughts, are we ‘agreeing’ with Him? Do we have thought patterns that NEED some changing? Now is the time.

Solomon spoke to seasonal changing as well:

“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time (season)for every event under heaven—
A time to give birth and a time to die; A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal; A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh; A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate; A time for war and a time for peace. ”   – Ecc 3:1-8 NAS

Is it time?  The ‘appointed’ God time. Time to take that hurt that may seem to sit in a priced glass box for others to see, take it out and give it to God, ‘a time to heal.’ Is it time to change the ‘torn apart’ and ‘sew together?’ Is it the season to build up, laugh, dance, to embrace?  Is it time to give birth to something new in your heart?

YOU define the season. Redefining.  The season for change is now. Think on it. Think with your whole heart, enthusiastically and with much eagerness. If this is a season to ‘prepare’ for the next, then …prepare.

Father, we invite You, come and invade our thoughts, just as King David said, “O Lord You have searched me and You know me, You know when I sit and when I rise, You perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down, You are familiar with all my ways.  Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely.*”  You know us. Grace us with desire to change, the insight to see and the wisdom to do it.  We are Yours.  In the most powerful and precious name of Jesus.”

Redefining the season. Just like Michael Jordan redefined the jump shot, YOU redefine this season, from mourning to laughter.

Shoot me an email if you prayed this prayer with eagerness, (

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)

*Psalm 139:1-4


The Picture of Understanding

Heeping coals
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” The Chinese proverb speaks to the image put in front of us, but how about when no actual image is offered, just mere words.  Words that cause your mind to paint the picture.
When teaching Hermeneutics a few years ago, we took a sharp look at the ‘culture’ to help determine the possible meaning behind ‘pictoral wording’, the example used was, “Heap burning coals on his head…” 
Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” – Ro. 12:17-21 (emphasis mine)
Not only was Paul painting a dandy of a picture, but speaking directly to the culture of that day, while quoting Proverbs 25: 21-22.  WAIT, this is getting good, keep reading:  Fire was HUGE!  For warmth and cooking, when ones ‘fire went out’, (and out of burning material) well …not a good thing.  These folks would travel distances to their neighbor to get more live burning coals.  If the neighbor was generous and full of kindness, they would not just place a few hot coals in the pottery container, but HEAP the pot full.  The person would then place a cloth on their head, putting the container there as well and carry it home that way, as was the custom of eastern culture. Reading the verse with this in mind, has the potential of ‘seeing’ it differently, then just our “YES!  Get the dude back and burn his head!”
If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (vss 20,21)
In doing so, you meet the need of the person, you go big and beyond.  Blessing them.  Now YOU are not playing the game …. rather… Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
A picture of understanding.
In Him, DeDe  (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)

Missing Element


Recently a dear friend passed on to me a question asked of her and invited me to chew on it a bit and let her know what I came up with.  A co-worker has been struggling with Matthew 6, where Jesus exhorts us NOT to worry about food and clothing.  In context to this portion of scripture, lies her mindset, “If God is concerned about the ‘little stuff’  (food /clothing v. 24-34) and being ALL knowing, All powerful, then why … why does bad things happen to good people?”  Where is God in it all?   THIS is an age old struggle.  One that I have set in the middle of the room and walked around it many times, sitting and pondering, get up and walk around it again. (if you will) With one resolve, I concluded… God is still GOOD.

First before we step down, and take off running, Jesus isn’t necessarily speaking to need for food and clothing, He is addressing our focus, the energy it takes.  He continues with, “Your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added to you.”  (v. 32b-33) Look to God, go to Him.  SPEND yourself, spend your energy pursuing Him and His Stuff, FIRST.

The world is full of heartache, pain and suffering.  Murder, rape, theft, decease and abuse … the list is vast is it not!  “Why do bad things happen to good people?” In my research to offer some kind of an answer, I came across an

Depressed little girl

Depressed little girl

article written by Jewish Rabbi, Aron Moss. His words spoke volumes to me, rather than trying to summarize them, he has this to say:

“Why bad things happen to good people?”  If this ultimate question were answered, then we would be able to make peace with the suffering of innocents. And that is unthinkable. Worse than innocent people suffering is others watching their suffering unmoved. (read THAT again!) And that’s exactly what would happen if we were to understand why innocents suffer. We would no longer be bothered by their cry, we would no longer feel their pain, because we would understand why it is happening.

Imagine you are in a hospital and you hear a woman screaming with pain. Outside her room, her family is standing around chatting, all smiling and happy. You scream at them, “What’s wrong with you? Can’t you hear how much pain she is in?” They answer, “This is the delivery ward. She is having a baby. Of course we are happy.”

When you have an explanation, pain doesn’t seem so bad anymore. We can tolerate suffering when we know why it is happening.

And so, if we could make sense of innocent people suffering, if we could rationalize tragedy, then we could live with it. We would be able to hear the cry of sweet children in pain and not be horrified. We would tolerate seeing broken hearts and shattered lives, for we would be able to neatly explain them away. Our question would be answered, and we could move on.

But as long as the pain of innocents remains a burning question, we are bothered by its existence. And as long as we can’t explain pain, we must alleviate it. If innocent people suffering does not fit into our worldview, we must eradicate it. Rather than justifying their pain, we need to get rid of it.

reaching to helpSo keep asking the question, why do bad things happen to good people. But stop looking for answers. Start formulating a response. Take your righteous anger and turn it into a force for doing good. Redirect your frustration with injustice and unfairness and channel it into a drive to fight injustice and unfairness. Let your outrage propel you into action. When you see innocent people suffering, help them. Combat the pain in the world with goodness. Alleviate suffering wherever you can.

We don’t want answers, we don’t want explanations, and we don’t want closure. We want an end to suffering. And we dare not leave it up to G-d to alleviate suffering. He is waiting for us to do it. That’s what we are here for.”  (emphasis mine)  — Thank you Rabbi Aron.

Working through this these last couple of weeks, I was amazed when sitting in church, the guest speaker, a missionary in the Philippines by the name of Mark, stood before us. With a transparency that had us all leaning forward eager to hear, he shared what was for me, the missing element to my quest.  He bluntly, yet so tenderly stated, “It is not WHY, we should ask, but … ‘WHAT?’  From there, I got my own little sermon whispered in my ear from the Holy Spirit.  “What Lord do You want me to do now… What do You want me to learn … What part do I have in this?”

“Why?”  Tends to just seek an answer, “What?” Can lend to ACTION! “What do I ‘DO’, what do I ‘learn.’ Heartache and pain, does indeed generate the ‘whys’, let’s do our best to generate action, with a WHAT!

I do not know if this answers the question for this gal, yet I do know for myself, it helps me to remember to continue to spend my energy on seeking God and God stuff.  Challenging me,  being aware of my God starts when I learn and accept the limitations of my own self-sufficiency.  Where is God?  He is … in ME!  He desires to use me.  Use me to help reduce someone’s pain, remove the suffering.  Also, that we live in a fallen world, where fallen and sinful humans dwell, where bad things happen.  But God.

I will leave us with, “Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who YOU are” ( Harold S. Kushner) I will add, because of ‘Whose’ you are.  We are children of the Most High King, now go…

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)


Exciting Challenge

Read the Bible 90 day

SUMMER!  Just ahead…  if you are like me, at the end of my spring time study focus I begin to think about what I am going to read this summer.  Usually, I begin my list with an adventurous Christian fiction novel, I tend to lean towards a historical setting, one full of romance, travel and faith.  And of course, strong characters that cause me to close my eyes and picture myself right where they are or shake my head in complete questionable wonder.  Summer!

I am changing the genre this year, I am going for a true story, yet holds all the summer-readingsame elements that grip my attention.  My goal is to read the entire Bible in 90 days.  Yes, that’s right in three months.  It is an average of 16 chapters a day.  Those who know me best, KNOW I can not do THAT in my normal way.  I am a ‘rabbit trail’ reader.  I will begin reading a verse or portion of scripture and before I know it have multiple windows open on my laptop, stacks of books chaotically laying at my feet and Notepad full of notes to organize later.  Over the course of the next few weeks beginning June 1st, I will set aside my study resources, my goal is to gain a glimpse of the entire story  from Genesis to Revelations, asking the Holy Spirit to make all the connections of characters and see God’s hand move with a gentle wave over HIS story.  I will however have a notebook with me, instead of running off immersing myself in deep research, I will quickly jot down the things He illuminates for me to study … later.

How about it?  YOU want to join me?  I will be using GateWays online 90 day plan  [ ]  It offers the option to choose the translation you want, I would encourage a translation that of course is easy to read (New Living Translation, The Message or New International Version) due to the amount of reading, if you are like me NOT a great ‘reader’, scan and skim… always PRAYING before you read, that God opens your eyes, mind and heart to ‘see’ what He wants you to see.

As the saying goes, “There’s an APP for that!”   If you prefer to have this accessible on your SmartPhone, ‘YouVersion’ offers the 90 day phone App as well.

Most importantly, this goal is to gain an overview of God – His story, much like a whirlwind vacation trip, taking pictures along the way.  PLEASE do not grow discouraged if you miss a day, or get behind, this is not a ‘competition’ with others and or yourself.

I would love to hear from you, if you feel this would fit your summer reading or sense God whispering in your ear, “Do this…”

Be blessed!

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)


Crossing the Line (Again)

make the line decision

It has been said throughout history, “Now you have really crossed the line.”  Many, if not most often was said to those who made stupid (STUPID) decisions.  Crossing the ‘line,’ declares once on the other side chaos is the potential reality. The line.  You know, the place where good and bad stand facing each other.  Ever find yourself there?  Standing either on the line, straddling it or now … just inches beyond.  Regret is the instant response.  Crossing the line.

Aaron of the Old Testament was a line crosser.  Exodus 32.  Painting the scene: Moses was up on the Mount with God, God was etching the Law on the Tablets.  While this was happening, chaos below.  The people grew restless (‘restless’ sermon in itself, for another time)  Aaron was left in charge.  Leadership was not new to him, being Moses’ brother, he was at his side confronting Pharaoh in Egypt, he was there when Manna and Quail was provided to the people, he along with Hur held up Moses’ arms in the battle against the Amalekites.  Now.  Now the folks come to AARON  frustrated and lost, “Do something… make us gods to follow…”  The line.  Aaron instructs them to take off all their jewelry, handing it to him, the narratives says he used a tool and HE shaped the image into a calf. (sigh) Placing the idol in front of an altar and the people, chaos began. He truly crossed the line.

God sent Moses back down to the people, out of disgust, Moses carrying the Tablets, threw them, breaking them to pieces.  Moses confronts all.  Aaron still on the ‘other side’ of the line, responds  “Do not be angry, you know how prone these people are to evil. They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.  So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’  Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!”   Hm … interesting.  He actually went with the ‘oh, looky there, a calf…’ explanation.   Other side, lying.

As the people ran wild, Moses stood at the entrance to the camp, declaring “those who are for the LORD, come…”  The line drawn.  A new line for Aaron. Immediately ALL the Levites rallied to Moses.  You see, here is whereline1 we pause, Aaron is a Levite.  Aaron crossed the line AGAIN.  He crossed back. The folks were instructed to grab a sword, three thousand died that day.  Not much more was said about Aaron in this chapter, however it is said the Moses interceded for the people AND Aaron (Deut. 9)

What AMAZES me, Aaron crossed the line and made that HUGE bad decision …yet and yet, God. Forgiveness runs deep, so very deep.  God chose him to be a priest.  Going on to stand before the people, representing the holiness of God.   “Then Aaron lifted his hands toward the people and blessed them. And having sacrificed the sin offering, the burnt offering and the fellowship offering, he stepped down. Moses and Aaron then went into the Tent of Meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people; and the glory of the LORD appeared to all the people. Fire came out from the presence of the LORD and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown.” – Leviticus 9:22-24  Notice the fire of God consumed the offerings, and NOT Aaron, wonder if there was just a little ‘ducking’ on Aaron’s part.  (kidding)

Some would say, “but Aaron …”  Flipping our pages ahead to Numbers 16-17,  Korah, Dathan and Abiram spark a ‘coup’ challenging Aaron’s priesthood, God opened up the ground and swallowed them up – THEN there was a plague on those who sympathized with the rebellion, Aaron was told to go and stand between the living and the dead, offering incense, the plague stopped.  Following this, God told Moses to take a rod from each tribal leader (Aaron included) write their names on their rod, place the rods in the Tent of Meeting, the one that buds, HE is the one chosen for priesthood.  The next morning, guess which rod had budded?  Yup, Aaron’s representing the tribe of Levi, God saw fit to cause it not only to bud, but it had blossoms and actual almonds on it!

Crossing the LineHow many of us have been where Aaron was, made some really STUPID decisions, crossed the wrong line, found our lives in chaos.  God in His most gracious love, offers ‘cross the line again’ opportunities.  His forgiveness running deep.  Just like Aaron, the opportunity was there, he immediately stepped forward, God used him mightily.  Or perhaps you stand now rubbing your toe against the line, wondering… just wondering.  Stop.

Life is not meant to be a hopscotch game, stepping and hopping from one line to the other, yet when the line is crossed, CROSS BACK.

I love Kings David’s Psalm 133.  “How good and pleasant it is when brothers 54686_hopscothlive together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.”  Beautiful.

Crossing the line, AGAIN.

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” – Heb. 10:24)


Trim Your Wick


The CANDLE … warm glow, dancing of the flame, the slow drip of the fragrant wax.  Soothing isn’t it?  One could sit for hours in its shadow, just admiring the effect it has on us.

While leading bible study, we were immersed in the Tabernacle of Moses, an amazing study.  As the women entered the room, they are greeted with a white linen covered table; with two tapered candles burning in long stem crystal holders.  The atmosphere is warm and elegant, inviting.  There is something about … a flickering flame.

The Lord revealed Himself many times in the flame, the bush with Moses, where he was commissioned, and Yahweh gives us His name, “I AM THAT I AM” (Ex. 3), and the pillar of fire at night to the Israelites, extending His guidance (Ex. 13).  Solomon dedicating the Temple, fire came down from heaven as God’s glory filled it (2 Chron. 7). One can not talk fire, forgetting to mention the show down on Mt. Carmel, Elijah, and his God against the prophets of Baal (I Kings 18).  Then the tongues of fire on the heads of those gathered at Pentecost (Acts 2)word and light

Oh, we may not be calling God down from heaven these days to consume our sacrifice to prove a point, but the use of the flame on a smaller note, we can understand.  The theme of the candle or lamp in the bible is strong.  In Psalm 18:28 David writes “For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness”.   Psalm 119:105 “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path”.   It is God that burns, His presence, His word that lights our way; it is in our very next step we desire Him to be present.  Light our way O God!

With the joy and privilege of the candle comes responsibility, tending.  The priests DAILY tended to the lamp in the Tabernacle.  Along with the sacrifice, the water, the light, these needed daily attention.  When God gave strict instruction of the articles for the Tabernacle, He included the ‘wick trimmers’.  Exodus 25:38, the wick trimmers were made of pure gold.

As I researched this, I was amazed to find the need that as we trim the wick short; we ‘cut off yesterday’s fire.’  It was described that the wick begins to have a small build up, causing the flame not to burn pure and too fast.  This is the black soot that flows from the flame; it is drowning in a large pool of melted wax.   This soot seems to fall and attach itself to those things closest to the candle.  Hm… think on that.  Drowning in melted wax, black icky stuff attached.  We trim for a fresh, even, pure, lasting flame!  Fresh Fire!  Does that stir something in you?

We recently moved into a new house with a very modern gas stove, cooking on it is a learning process for me having never cooked on one, with fear of BLOWING the house up, yet it interests me that when I turn the flame off how immediately the pan or tea kettle begins to cool down.  So it is with our spiritual life, remove the flame of God and we too have an immediate ‘cool down.’

The Lord spoke to me about the need to come DAILY, seeking His presence, His word, that FRESH  FIRE, depending not on yesterday’s experience!  As I trim my wick and prepare for a fresh word from God, His presence comes.  As He did with Moses, He will reveal Himself to me, commissioning me for the day.  As the Israelites, He will guide me.  As His temple, He will fill me.  Just like Elijah, He will do great things in my midst. I will seek the constant flame, NOT allowing a cool down.

How is our flame burning?  Is it yesterdays fire, has it cooled down or gone out completely?  Seek as David did,.. ‘light my candle O God!

Fresh Fire… trim your wick, for a pure, even, lasting flame, Go God!  (wouldn’t THAT look great on the Yankee candle label)

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)


Journey of the Lamb


Stained Glass lamb

Recently celebrating Resurrection Sunday, I was again reminded of the journey of … the Lamb. From Genesis to Revelation the Lamb of God.

Genesis 22, God declares to Abraham to take his son Isaac, his only son to the mountain and offer him as a sacrifice. An interesting ‘geeky’ point, verse two, God tells Abraham “Take now your son…”  Often we miss SO much in the translation, in the Hebrew, the word ‘now’ is ‘na’.  See how it reads in Hebrew, “Abraham and he is saying behold me, take you please! son of you, only one of you whom you love Issac…”  (emphasis mine)  The word translated ‘now’, literally is ‘beseech, please.’  Reading that again, you can almost hear the heart of God in this request.  A Fathers heart.  As Abe and son begin their hike up the mountain, father placing the wood on the shoulders of the son, Isaac says “The fire and wood are here.” Then asks, “but where is the lamb …?”

As the story progresses, Isaac willingly climbs up on the altar.  Abraham obeys to the fullest, God knowing His heart, stops him, and provides a ram for the sacrifice. Noting, here in this chapter, is the first time love, (v 2) worship (v 5) and obey (v 18) are used.  Whenever God introduces something new, we are to take notice!  Love. Worship.  Obey.   The lamb. Hearing God, following His commands, sacrificing until it hurts. The Lamb … provided.

Exodus 12, in short: God prepares the Israelites to leave the captivity of Egypt. Instructions were given as the Angel of death would soon be unleashed, “… take the lamb…” slay and place the blood on the doorpost of the home. Taking the lamb into their home, the blood now over them, death avoided. Freedom from captivity. The Lamb … protected.

John 1, John the Baptist, known as an eccentric evangelist, (to say the least, can you say “YUM… bugs!”) sees Jesus approaching, he openly declares “Look, behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” John purposely points to Jesus, the shift of attention. The Lamb … proclaimed.

Revelation 5, the angelic choir ‘gettin their worship on’, sings before the throne “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise.” THAT verse!  Read it again as the Holy Spirit breathes on you with His Majesty!   (Let’s all stand to our feet! Or face down!)  The Lamb … praised. 

We too, hold a progression of the Lamb. Perhaps we are wondering, where is He, agony of heart, NEEDING provision. Have we taken Him, the offering of protection and deliverance from our captivity. Are we beholding Him,  openly declaring Him before others, re-shifting the focus from us to Him. Does our heart and lifestyle harmonize with heaven ‘worthy is the Lamb’ joining the imagesTMNS0VHScelebration.

Jesus, from the foreshadowing in the Old Testament,  the wood on His shoulders, willingly climbing on the altar, His blood, protecting and delivering, to US proclaiming … Him, to the celebration at the foot of the throne … the Lamb of God.

Where is the lamb?” The Lamb, provided.

Take the lamb” The Lamb, protected.

Behold the Lamb” The Lamb, proclaimed.

Worthy is the Lamb” The Lamb, praised.

This week, may we contemplate where WE are in our own personal journey of the Lamb.

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” ~ Heb. 10:24)


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